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Human Rights Book Club

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

By Mark Haddon

 
September 18, 2014 > 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
OR  
September 19, 2014 > 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 3rd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Tours with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Join us at MIA for a guided tour by Carreen Heegaard and a conversation about issues explored in the text and visual art throughout the Institute.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time takes place in the year 1998 in England. The fifteen-year-old narrator of the story, Christopher John Francis Boone, discovers the slain body of his neighbor’s poodle, Wellington, on the neighbor’s front lawn one evening and sets out to uncover the murderer. His investigation is at times aided, and at other times hampered, by the mild form of autism he lives with. He is unexpectedly led to information about his parents’ divorce and after a run-in with the police, decides to set off to find his mother. The investigation, his journey, and an A-level math exam at school require him to summon courage and strength that help him realize he can accomplish other goals in his life. Although the reader recognizes that Christopher has an uncommon perspective of the world, the novel suggests that everyone, in fact, has a subjective point of view. By giving detailed explanations of Christopher’s thoughts, the novel allows the reader to empathize with Christopher and understand his reasons for behaving as he does. Christopher’s point of view loses its strangeness and seems merely unique.

 

 

 

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The Space Between Us

By Thrity Umrigar

 

 
December 4, 2014

12:00 - 1:00 PM

The Advocates for Human Rights, 330 2nd Avenue S, Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Alternatively told through the eyes of Sera, a Parsi widow whose pregnant daughter and son-in-law share her elegant home, and Bhima, the elderly housekeeper who must support her orphaned granddaughter, The Space Between Us offers a look at class and gender roles in modern day Bombay. When we first meet Bhima, she is sharing a thin mattress with Maya, the granddaughter upon whom high hopes and dreams were placed, only to be shattered by an unexpected pregnancy and its disastrous consequences. As time goes on, we learn that Sera and her family have used their power and money time and time again to influence the lives of Bhima and Maya, from caring for Bhima's estranged husband after a workplace accident, to providing the funds for Maya's college education. We also learn that Sera's seemingly privileged life is not as it appears; after enduring years of cruelty under her mother-in-law's roof, she faced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband, pain that only Bhima could see and alleviate. Yet through the triumphs and tragedies, Sera and Bhima always shared a bond that transcended class and race; a bond shared by two women whose fate always seemed to rest in the hands of others, just outside their control.

 

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See the 2014 Book List

For ideas for your own book club, also take a look at our book lists and discussion guides from previous years.

For questions or suggestions, please contact Sarah Herder at sherder@advrights.org or 612-746-4691.